A Letter from Monte

To Santa Barbara's community of writers, and all those who travel to this beautiful oceanside city to celebrate the world of letters:

Writing may well be a solitary art, but there is a society of writers whose enthusiastic embrace of each other is irreplaceable. Having been part of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference since 1975, I've come to see that this has been the true reason for our gathering in June all these years.

We read and listen and share our support for that ongoing enterprise. We applaud each other's accomplishments, offer consolation during droughts of rejections, and remind one another that putting words on a page is not supposed to be easy or necessarily rewarding to our bank accounts, so much as it is a gift to our soul. We write because we have to, or because it makes us smile, or brings comfort on gray days, or allows us to communicate with our reader that simplest of ideas that we, too, are alive in the world and this is what we think of being here, and what it feels like to be human. We are the messengers and entertainers, the philosophers and sometimes even the bearers of great notions.

I am welcoming anyone who loves books and writing of any kind, who feels he or she has a novel or a play or a screenplay, a poem, an essay, a memoir locked away inside, who wants to be part of this community of writing to come see us next June 17-22, 2018 and take part in the 46th Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

My name is Monte Schulz, and I am a writer.